In North Carolina, if a driver is on the roads with a BAC (or blood alcohol concentration.) of 0.08% or above, they are what we call an impaired driver. However, research shows that one may face impairment at even lower levels. Furthermore, the risk of being involved in a crash if a driver’s alcohol level is above 0.05% it greatly increases.
North Carolina Driving While Impaired: What’s the Law?
In 1983, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted what is commonly referred to as the Safe Roads Act which repealed all previous laws on drunk driving in North Carolina and replaced them with the single offense of “Driving While Impaired” or “DWI.”
Therefore, if an officer charges a driver with DWI, you will certainly be asked to take a chemical test of your breath or blood. Further, if a driver refuses to take the breath-test, an automatic suspension of the violators driver’s license will result for a mandatory 30 days, and a minimum revocation of 12-months by the DMV.
Next, if a violators B.A.C. creeps above a 0.08% or more (0.04% for commercial vehicle drivers), his or her driving privileges will be revoked immediately for a minimum of 30 days. Additionally, the results of the chemical test or your refusal to take the test will be admissible as evidence in court.
You can prove DWI in one of two ways; (1) proving the driver’s physical or mental fitness are ‘appreciably impaired’ by alcohol, drugs or a combination of both. Or, (2) by proving the drivers B.A.C. is 0.08% or more.
DWI Laws prohibits the the following:
- Consumption of alcoholic substances while driving;
- The transport of an open alcohol container, including in the passenger area;
- Possession of alcoholic beverages (open or closed) in a commercial motor vehicle;
- It requires that people convicted of a DWI a second time to serve a jail sentence; and
- DWI law also allows enforcement agencies to set up road blocks to check for impaired drivers.
As we move forward, DWI laws in the state of North Carolina become more in-depth. Therefore, it becomes more imperative to have a lawyer who is familiar with the DWI system.
If you, or someone close to you, is facing a charge in connection with DWI in North Carolina, call our Robert J. Reeves, P.C. for a free consultation.
You can reach us at 704-499-9000, or toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information today.